Kia Niro (2016) Review

Looking for a Kia Niro (2016 on)?
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Kia Niro (2016) At A Glance

Easy to drive. Impressive fuel economy and low running costs. Space for a family. 450 litre load area.

Ride quality is sometimes unsettled over country roads.

New prices start from £21,635, brokers can source from £29,495
Contract hire deals from £186.67 per month
On average it achieves 70% of the official MPG figure

It might look like any other crossover, but the Kia Niro is a hybrid, much like a Toyota Prius. That means it has a high driving position and plenty of space for a family, but it's also economical, with low emissions and impressive economy in real world driving.

Power comes from the combination of a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 44PS electric motor, with a total output of 141PS and 265Nm of torque. Official economy is 74.3mpg and emissions are 88g/km, with no plugging in necessary. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard, as opposed to a CVT like the Prius.

The result is a driving experience that will feel more familiar to drivers used to a conventional automatic transmission or a manual gearbox. In fact, the Niro just feels like any other car for the most part, particularly out of town, where it's easy to drive and very comfortable. 

It can operate on electricity alone under some circumstances, such as at low speeds in traffic or when cruising at a steady speed. However, most of the time the engine needs to be working. Fortunately, while it is audible, it’s only really noticeable when accelerating very hard for overtakes or joining motorways.

If you can charge a car at home, there's also a plug-in hybrid model, with an official 36-mile range under electric power alone. The PHEV is only available in one trim level, the 3, meaning it's well equipped but also quite expensive.

Aside from the hybrid system, the Niro is very much like any other crossover. It’s spacious, comfortable and comes with plenty of modern technology, including standard-fit lane keep assist, Bluetooth and cruise control plus, on mid-grade ‘2’ versions, there is navigation and smartphone mirroring through Android Auto.

Space in the back is adequate even for adults, while the boot is a perfectly decent 421 litres, expandable to 1425 litres with the rear seats folded flat. Like all crossovers it has a fairly high load deck compared to hatchbacks, but that’s par for the course and the Niro is no worse than anything else.

If space, performance and convenience technology matter more to you than running cost then there are better choices, including Kia's own Sportage. But the Niro's ease of use, low running costs and impressive economy make it a great alternative to petrol or diesel-powered crossovers like the Nissan Qashqai or the SEAT Ateca - just be prepared to pay a small premium for its hybrid system. 

Looking for a Kia Niro (2016 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Kia Niro (2016)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

42–122 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a comfortable, refined car with easy boot access for a dog?
"We've just got a dog and I'm having to lift her into our Lexus RX. Something which, at 64, I'm finding a bit harder than I'd like. She's not keen on going up a ramp, so what d'you think we might consider as a good, smaller vehicle with easy rear access - something she might more readily just jump into? The RX is much larger than we need now - mostly just myself, wife, dog and occasional bags for weekend trips - but I do like something which is relaxed, quiet and comfortable on a long journey."
A Kia Niro sounds like a good option. It's a hybrid, like your RX, but smaller and with easier access for your greyhound as there's virtually no load lip. It also represents good value for money and comes with a seven-year warranty. Alternatively, you could consider a more conventional estate car. A Skoda Octavia or Superb could be a good option - both are very refined with big boots. There's a plug-in hybrid version of the Superb, badged the iV, if that appeals.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Will my hybrid get the new, green number plate?
"Will a 2017 Kia Niro petrol hybrid have the new green number plate?"
No, the green number plate is for zero emission vehicles (electric vehicles) only. Hybrid vehicles won't get the part-green reg plate when it's rolled out in autumn.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Can you recommend a small, automatic SUV?
"I'm after a small, used SUV with an auto gearbox. I have a budget of £11,000 - £12,000. I'm doing 7000-8000 miles of mixed driving per year. So far I've narrowed it down to Suzuki Vitara, Skoda Yeti and Nissan Qashqai. Any advise will be appreciated."
I really like the Skoda Yeti, but it has had a lot of reported problems over the past few years and it is probably best avoided. I'd say the same for the Qashqai, after its poor showing in our latest Satisfaction Index: The Suzuki Vitara, on the other hand, is a very good car. It also has a strong reputation for reliability and comfort. I would add the Kia Niro and Toyota C-HR to your list, too, as both are easy to use and have a good reputation for build quality.
Answered by Dan Powell
Can I trickle charge a hybrid car?
"You recommend trickle charging on a hybrid during self-isolation. We've got a Kia Niro, but I couldn't find visible battery terminals. Any idea where they are?"
The 12V battery in the Niro is positioned under the rear seat with the hybrid battery. You can't trickle charge it - instead, if it becomes flat, you need to press (and hold) the 'battery reset' button on your dash. This will use the high voltage battery to charge the 12V battery. If you have any problems, we'd recommend contacting a Kia dealer.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Kia Niro (2016) cost?

Buy new from £29,495 (list price from £24,855)
Contract hire from £186.67 per month